Rainfall measurement from mobile telecommunication network and potential benefit for urban hydrology in Africa: a simulation framework for uncertainty propagation analysis

Turko, Maxime; Gosset, Marielle; Bouvier, Christophe; Chahinian, Nanee; Alcoba, Matias; Kacou, Modeste; Yappi, Apoline

Urban floods due to intense precipitation is a major problem in many developing countries, especially in Africa. There are few available solutions for effective and yet affordable flood early warning systems for these regions. Weather radar is common in industrialized countries but too costly for most tropical cities. Satellite provides interesting information in real time but not yet quantitative enough at the space and time scales needed for urban flood monitoring. Rainfall measurement using commercial microwave links (CML) from cellular communication networks is a cost effective alternative to conventional methods. The method is based on measuring rain induced fluctuations between telecommunication antennas; if the operator provides this information rain maps can be produced and used for hydrological prediction. Many CML studies have been carried out in Europe and Israel. Recently IRD implemented pilot sites in Africa in order to test this rainfall estimation technique and quantify the uncertainties. After reviewing the method principles and providing an overview of the current research on CML, we present a simulation framework to analyse the propagation of CML rainfall uncertainties in an urban hydrological model.

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Turko, Maxime / Gosset, Marielle / Bouvier, Christophe / et al: Rainfall measurement from mobile telecommunication network and potential benefit for urban hydrology in Africa: a simulation framework for uncertainty propagation analysis. 2020. Copernicus Publications.

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